It was harvested as a young, green fruit back in the late days of 2008. It lived a peaceful life, growing in the shade of it’s parent tree’s broad lush leaves. It had many brothers and sister fruits, all approximately the same size and shape living in a pesticide Chlorpyrifos-coated bag to kill insects and diseases. Every few days, our hero and it’s family was sprayed with a refreshing shower of another kind of pesticide to further discourage any unsightly blemishes on it’s fine green skin. Along with the pesticide, it was drenched with an aerial spray to kill fungi in the air, nematicides to kill worms, and herbicides to kill weeds. Our friend liked to be kept clean, that’s for sure!
It didn’t think of itself any different than the tens of thousands of others living close by, but it had a great unknown destiny in its future. For the time being, our hero of the story led a simple and cozy life in a 75-acre banana plantation in Panama, spending its days lounging in its plastic bag-house and staring out into the world. The banana grew bigger and bigger, and one day, it, along with it’s entire family, was rudely chopped from the tree. The banana was devided into a seven-fruit bunch with its brothers and sisters and was carried away, never to see its sunny home again. After being thrown in a tractor, it was crated off to a dingy warehouse. From there it was boxed up, shoved in a plastic bag, and shipped of in a giant refrigerator with thousands of its kind to the United States. Our banana cried itself to sleep each night. It’s only comfort was the intreaging fresh Dole sticker slapped on its still green skin. Our banana didn’t see the light of day for weeks.
The banana squinted its eyes as the bright light of the world shined in on it as the cardboard box was opened. After being manhandled out of the box, its plastic bag was removed and the unkind hands rapidly ripped it from its seven companions. They were placed in a small bin, along with thirty other almost yellow bananas. Yellow? “What’s this?” our banana thought to itself. Looking down on its body, the banana could see the beginnings of a new yellow coat taking the place of the green. It could hardly contain its excitement, and sat completely still in the bin practically buzzing with enthusiasm over its amazing transformation.
Our banana grew restless, though. After a few days, half of its friends had been bought. Only thirteen lay in the bin next to it, each hoping that they too would be selected for some unknown quest. But alas, our banana was not. It watched as every other banana was taken away out the swinging doors of the Tucson Circle K. It became lonely, and leopardy spots of brown began speckling its once-sterling yellow skin. It’s glory days behind it, our banana began thinking about taking its own life by throwing itself out of the bin and onto the floor, where its now delicate body would surely burst out all over the ground. As time went by, and the banana became older and older, the idea began solidifying, unlike the banana’s insides, and it planned out its death in detail. The time was here. If it waited any longer, it wouldn’t have the strength to lift its limp, brown body up and out of the bin. Our banana decided to rest up for one more night, and if the next day, its remained un-bought, it would commit suicide.
The Next Day:
After five hours on the bike, a hungry cyclist aproached the doors of the Circle K. He had just finished his third 9-mile hill repeat and was exhausted. Not having taken nearly enough food for the 5,000 calorie day, he staggered into the store with limp legs and a dazed expression on his spit and salt incrusted face. His eyes were slightly crossed as he scanned the aisles for something that the thirty-five cents in his tightly clenched fist could buy. He searched the candy bar aisle in vain. Then the chips aisle, the candy aisle, and the drink aisle with the same outcome. His situation looked bad. He only had thirty more minutes to ride until he was home, but it was now dark outside and he dreaded the thought of drifting into oncoming traffic due to hunger. Plus he felt weak as hell. He needed food. But what could 35 cents buy?
The banana near the cash register had been dragging its listless carcass closer to the edge of the bin since noon, and was now beginning to climb over the 2-inch lip that separated the brown fruit from a death of old age and a death of a sickening drop and splatter on the ground. One last effort and it would be up and over the last barrier to its sorry existence. It heaved itself with all its might…
The tired biker saw that bananas were 20 cents each. He picked up the banana and payed for it with two dimes and walked out the convienient store, peeling the banana as he went. He placed it to his mouth and devoured the sweet fruit in a few bites. Immediatly, the sugar from the banana hit his legs and his eyes lost their glaze. “That was the best damn banana I’ve ever eaten,” he said. He got back on the bike and rode home without being hit by a car.